Only 5% of people wash their hands the right way.

Handwashing is such a second-nature habit that many of us don’t think twice about it. We get some soap, rub our hands together, and rinse. But did you know that the way you go about washing your hands has a significant impact? In fact, studies show that only 5% of people wash their hands using the correct method!

Wash your hands

Proper handwashing takes only 5 steps and 20 seconds.

Of the 95% that don’t wash their hands properly, there are some common mistakes. They include washing too quickly, not using soap, and not thoroughly cleaning all surfaces of the hands and nails.

Here’s how to wash your hands the right way in order to remove germs.

Step 1: Completely wet your hands.

Get your hands completely wet, up to your wrists. You can use warm or cold water, depending on your preference.

Step 2: Apply soap and work into a lather.

Grab some soap and begin to work it into a lather all over your hands. Studies show that even plain soap is exceptionally effective at removing germs, but if you prefer an antibacterial soap, that’s fine too!

Step 3: Scrub for a full 20 seconds.

With your hands lathered, continue to scrub your hands thoroughly for a full 20 seconds. You can set a timer or mentally sing through “Happy Birthday” twice. Be sure to scrub all surfaces of your hands and pay special attention to your fingertips and nails.

Step 4: Rinse under clean water.

After a full 20 seconds, rinse your hands under clean, running water to completely wash away the soap.

Step 5: Dry with air or a clean towel.

Finish by drying your hands either with an air dryer or a clean towel. Keep in mind that hand towels trap bacteria easily and this bacteria can quickly breed. For your bathroom hand towels, replace them with a clean one at least every other day.

These are the most important times to wash your hands.

Science supports that overwashing is something to avoid. Washing too often can strip our hands of healthy bacteria and natural oils that help block germs from entering our bodies. If you notice that your hands seem very dry and irritated, you might be washing too often.

So when should you absolutely wash your hands? Here are the most important times to scrub up!

  • Cooking and Eating: Wash hands before, during, and after cooking as well as before eating.
  • Caring for Someone: When caring for someone who is ill, wash before and after helping them.
  • Administering First Aid: Wash before and after caring for a wound or injury.
  • Using the Bathroom: Wash after using the bathroom, cleaning the toilet, changing a diaper, etc.
  • Touching Your Nose or Face: Wash hands after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Wash your hands before and after touching your face or around your eyes.
  • Interacting with Pets: Wash hands after cuddling your pet, feeding them, or removing their waste.
  • Handling Garbage: Wash after taking out the garbage or touching garbage bins.

Handwashing is an important part of health and hygiene.

We already know that handwashing is a crucial step in avoiding illness and staying healthy, but do you wonder how effective it really is? Check out these fast facts!

  • Most of the potentially harmful bacteria on our bodies are located on our hands.
  • Skipping post-bathroom handwashing can double the germs on our fingertips and nails.
  • Hand sanitizer is super useful, but it doesn’t remove as many germs as handwashing.
  • Frequent handwashing can reduce cold and foodborne illness by 50%.
  • Handwashing for just 20 seconds nearly eliminates all bacteria on the hands.

Ada Smile Place creates a healthy, hygienic environment for patients.

Ada Smile Place prioritizes our team’s and our patients’ health by creating a welcoming, hygienic environment. We follow the highest standards in the sanitization of our equipment and our facilities. Our team follows strict handwashing guidelines, as well as continuing to monitor our patients’ temperatures and asking pre-screening questions to ensure everyone in our office is healthy and safe.

For more information about what we do to maintain a healthy environment, give our office a call or use this online form.